What you need to know about GABA


GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter. The main function of GABA is to reduce neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.

GABA is also known as the molecule of calm, it helps to reduce anxiety and fear.When you have an imbalance in GABA, it lead to anxiety, depression and insomnia, fear and an increase in stress.

It is also found in the GI tract and so influences the gut-brain axis.  A beneficial gut bacteria called Bifidobacterium adolescentis strains, can produce GABA, influencing the gut-brain axis response.(PMC7445748 )

The Gabergic Pathway

GABA is a type of chemical messenger in the brain that helps calm down brain activity. It does this by working on certain “gates” in brain cells called GABA -A receptors. When GABA activates these receptors, it makes it harder for brain cells to get excited, helping to keep things balanced.

GABA works together with glutamate. GABA calms down and Glutamate stimulates. GABA also works together with another neurotransmitter called serotonin.


Signs you could have low GABA

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • digestive issues


What depletes GABA?

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • prolonged exposure to stress
  • low levels of B6 as it is a precursor for glutamate which produces GABA
  • genetic dysfunction in your GABAergic pathway
  • neurotransmitter imbalance


How can you increase GABA?

  • reducing stress and stress management
  • Drinking more green or black tea that contains theanine
  • L-theanine supplements can increase GABA levels, helping to reduce anxiety
  • magnesium increases the effectiveness of GABA
  • exercise increase GABA

Genetic testing

When people show a lot of externalizing behavior, like aggression or acting out, genetically,they may have a predisposition to start using drugs early and could develop drug problems later in life.  The GABA system in the brain is thought to play a role in this behavior.

Getting your DNA MIND genetic test looks at the GABAergic pathway, the CC gentotype is associated with an altered receptor function an predispose you to increased anxiety, alcoholism and impulsivity. Contact me for more information.

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